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NICE recommends Velcade for MCL, and three diabetes drugs

Published on 23/12/15 at 11:01am
Janssen Velcade

NICE has published final guidance recommending Velcade (bortezomib) as a treatment for previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). 

In the Phase III LYM‑3002 trial Velcade, in combination with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone (VR‑CAP), was shown to extend progression free survival (PFS) by 10.3 months compared to rituximab with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (R‑CHOP). Patients in the VR-CAP arm had a median PFS of 24.7 months, compared to 14.4 months for those treated with the R-CHOP combination.

The NICE Committee calculated a cost of £33,100 per quality‑adjusted life year (QALY) gained from Velcade in this indication. Velcade was co-developed by Johnson & Johnson and Millenium Pharmaceuticals, which is now owned by Takeda. In the UK and Europe the drug is marketed by Janssen, the pharmaceutical arm of Johnson & Johnson. 

NICE also issued draft guidance recommending Janssen’s Invokana (canagliflozin), BMS/AstraZeneca’s Forxiga (dapagliflozin) and Lilly/Boehringer’s Jardiance (empagliflozin) as monotherapies for treating type 2 diabetes in adults when diet and exercise alone do not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients, and for whom metformin is contraindicated or not tolerated. 

All three treatments are only recommended if other classes of anti-diabetes drugs, including a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor would otherwise be prescribed and a sulfonylurea or pioglitazone is not appropriate. 

Draft guidance is open to comment and appeal until January 27, and final guidance is expected in February. 

Joel Levy

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